Addendum, Additions, Advancements

Night Flight Video

I posted a video from the night flight on our YouTube channel. You can view it here. We didn’t originally plan on flying a video camera on the mission but I’m glad we did. The GoPros aren’t really made for such low light conditions but it’s nice to see even the low res results. Sure, we wished we had gotten above that cloud layer, but we’ll take what we got for now and live to launch another day.

March 25th launch into the evening glow

The Unsung Crew

I failed to mention the contributions of Fred and Jeff in Sunday’s flight. They were to be the recovery crew. By launch time they had pre-positioned themselves in Indiana awaiting the payload. About 30 minutes into the flight we were confident the payload was not headed that way. For a while we feared they may have had a better chance recovering the payload if they were in Arizona ;-) so we called them back home. Thanks guys, for giving it a shot.

Zach to State!

I’m proud to announce that Zach Williams of the Air Force Academy High School and a veteran of Far Horizons is going to the State level with his high altitude science fair project, “Effective Shielding Against Cosmic Radiation.” He’ll be heading down to Champaign-Urbana May 4-5 to present his project on the next level. Congrats Zach!

Next Flight Goals

Our next flight is scheduled for Wednesday, April 11. The primary mission goal is to apply the stabilization system analysis data of IMSA intern, Josh, on a flight and collect a final set of data for his project. That’s the nuts and bolts of the mission. The fun part about what that means is we’re planning to use an array of 5 (or 6?) GoPro cameras to capture a 360 degree flight movie. Can they be stitched and processed to project on – um, let’s say – a big dome? Now where would we find one of those? We’ll need some final testing of the launch platform and camera array before the flight. Join us on Saturdays or throughout the week if you can. As always, if you want to participate in the launch, drop me a line and I’ll keep you up to date on the flight details.

Cut Down Priority

One realization to come from Sunday’s flight is that we need to step up our development of our cut down system. Presently, it is still a hard-wired unit triggered by a timer. Dan has done an admirable job getting us to this point. Now, we’re going to have to take it to the next level. We will work on a proper Request For Proposal (RFP) post haste, to outline our new requirements. I know there are some of you out there who will fit right in helping Dan work on this. We’ll post the RFP as soon as possible to get the ball rolling.

ATREX Mission Launched

I thought this may be of interest to those of you involved in our SPARK mission. Five sounding rockets were launched from Wallops Island on the 27th to explore a little understood layer of our atmosphere about 100km above Earth. Here is a short video explaining the mission. And here is a video of the launches. Cool science! Since a successful SPARK mission will be dipping its toe in the same area of the thermosphere, I thought it’d be nice getting to know our destination a little better. And maybe we can try some interesting science up there if we can spare a few grams of payload? It just goes to show there’s still so much left to explore.

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